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year which also provided much-needed relief funds for hurricane sandy victims. that was a bipartisan bill. it was supported by senate republicans and democrats alike. but the republicans in the house regrettably gutted the bill and sent back legislation that explicitly cut out wildfire relief. in that context, let me make one point absolutely clear. this is an emergency. some people have questioned the need for funding and have asked why we wouldn't limit dollars to just hurricane sandy saer kwras like the bill -- hurricane sandy areas. the short answer is it is the fiscally smart thing to do, the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do. this bill is an emergency appropriations bill for all national disasters, not just hurricane sandy. it is our best hope of seeing wildfire relief. i emphatically note that the colorado emergencies occurred before hurricane sandy and the west should not have to continue to wait. very few emergency supplemental bills pass congress. this bill is passing now, and it should include aid for colorado and other states across our country. we as americans,
to come in and settle themselves down. super storm sandy, drought on agriculture, wildfires, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor accident in japan last year, haiti earthquake, the list is long and worrying. in 20 # 11, we had more disasters in the united states costing more than a billion dollars than ever. in fact, we had more expensive disasters, but not quite as many in 2012. the drought and the super storm were hugely, hugely expensive. disasters are happening with greater frequency, greater severity, and absolutely with many, many greater costs. we ray -- we are here over the next three days to work across traditional boundaries to connect scientists of all stripes with practitioners, with policymakers from the international to the local level with conservation organizations, with cooperations, and it is our belief that only, and i want to emphasize "only" by working together can we solve these challenges that face us. the costs are the just not financial, but as we tragically know, many, many lives are lost in these disasters so if we can come up with just one
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